First let’s get the dirty secret out of the way.
My schedule is out of wack! I’m looking around for work because I’d love to go up to Wisconsin to visit a couple friends over the Summer. In order to do that, I need a job and money. I’ve spent the vast majority of my precious free time job searching instead of writing, and thus, this extremely late post only to let you know that the story is still being worked on and that I will persevere, yada yada yada. You know the drill! It’s just one of those dumb life things. I’ll be back to continue Mesdan’s story and to post small short ones that I wrote for free and fun as well as poetry more frequently as my schedule settles down.
Right now it’s just ALL up in the air.
Okay, boring news post done. Let me move on to what inspired me to come back to write in the first place….
How do we define ourselves? How can we look at each other, one another, at who we are and come up with words to describe it? I was surfing the internet– mostly to read up about the opinions of others on the whole gender thing– and looking around and I saw plenty of quizzes with these strange misconceptions about how gender works and after taking two or three separate quizzes and getting different results each time, I realized that there is a simple answer lurking behind this.
No one really knows. Not for sure. All we can do is throw terms together and cultural assumptions, all that jazz, and pretend that it’s actually relevant in terms of how we feel we must be.
Yes, lately people have been more accepting of the transgender community and the genderqueer folk out there– at the least in the U.S. It’s at least more widely known that we exist. But, and this is the real kick in the pants, no one really agrees on what that means. There’s all this confusion about what’s polite and what works. People want to find a way to paint it all the same like they try to do with gay and bisexual culture, they want to find defining features to pin on the lot of us. Stereotypes.
I won’t say something cliché like ‘Oh, we genderqueer folk, we just defy stereotypes!’ because we don’t. There are some that sort of fit. But I’ve never believed in stereotypes in the first place. All they do is provide great big sweeping misconceptions that can be applied to anyone you meet. In my experience, they do more harm than good, even if they cement a clear image in the minds of the people, it’s often the wrong one.
Some of us wear dresses all the time. Some of us take pleasure in wearing clothes that don’t seem to match our bodies. Some of us really want to change our bodies to match our minds. Some of us probably look kind of strange, and some of us have tragic life stories that can be used as fronts by the unwary, ostensibly well-meaning bystander- ‘oh, it’s okay that he’s like this, he had a Tragic Life, he’s just a little strange and has never really been okay after that Incident’.
Explanations like that or along a similar vein- it’s okay, he’s just WEIRD- drive me crazy. It’s okay, she just isn’t NORMAL. It’s okay.
Yes, it IS okay. It’s fine to be genderqueer or transgendered or any of that. But it’s NOT fine because you say so, because the world decided it was fine. It’s fine because it’s how it IS. It’s how we ARE, how we LIVE and breathe. It’s not strange, it’s not weird, it’s not just a quirk or a character flaw you can explain away and hide under the stairs, we are real, breathing, living people, we are real people with hopes and dreams and lives, and any explanation that makes us less than that by trying to define us as outsiders to society, like we aren’t natural?
No. Don’t give me that bullshit. Don’t try to tell me that the God or Goddess or whoever up there or down there or around us said that It Wasn’t So. Say what you truly mean. It unsettles YOU. Don’t hide behind religion or a great big ideal. Don’t pretend it can shield you from the truth. Stand up and confront it. Stand up and confront US. Let us talk instead of excusing it away. Don’t belittle our problems. We all have them! We all deal with them and suffer through them. There isn’t time for mincing about the issue and letting it be swallowed by committee and politics.
We’re so much more than an issue on the ballot. I can’t stand to see a whole people, a whole variety of subculture reduced to nothing more than rights and words on paper. It lets the bigots win. Fight for our rights to be ourselves? Why should we fight for something we should just have?
Is it not hard enough to fight daily issues without pushing through a slurry of idiot bigotry and a blizzard of base moral deceit?
But these complaints and arguments have surely been brought to the fore more than once. The fact that we fight changes nothing. People down the ages have grown to understand that. Fighting changes nothing. Revolution changes nothing- just swings around in a circle. We can stamp and moan and tear our hair as much as we like. If we want to see change, it will be in the calm before and after the storm, not during it. No true tempest brings anything other than outright destruction.
Which brings me to discovery, and the discovery of myself. It’s a small step and one no doubt to be lost in the ocean ahead of us. But I want to share, because knowledge can transcend so much, touching even those it might at first be lost upon. I can only share of myself, unfortunately. I dare not speak for those others who might be like me. I just hope it’s enough.
A while back I wrote on the gender sphere. I’m not going to expound on that so much as I’m going to expound on me. I realize I’m something of a mystery to a bunch of people, and if you like keeping that mystery, maybe you won’t read further. I’ll understand. Spoilers about people you know can be a little strange.
I’m going to make the rather broad and bold assumption that most people know I’m a shapeshifter. I don’t mean that in a literal ‘I can mold my body the way I want it to be’ sense. If I had that sort of power or technology I don’t think I’d be searching for a job. I could just join the circus or sell DNA samples to scientists eager to study how it worked.
I mean my mind shifts shape constantly. It flows like water, freezes into ice, or evaporates into vapor, always moving, always undirected, flowing from thought to thought.
The shapes are interesting. When talking to people on the internet I like to choose an ‘avatar’ for emotes and things, for hugging or waving, et cetera. The avatar changes constantly.
Some days I might be a regular human, with varying shades of hair, skin color, size, shape, eyes, amounts of body hair or associated scent, to say nothing of the clothing I might be wearing at any time.
Other days I’ll mix it up. Perhaps I’ll add bestial or elven features to my appearance. Perhaps I’ll communicate telepathically or choose a shape with an amorphous, jelly-like body. I’ve taken forms made up of air, forms with six arms or tentacle-like appendages, things that’d look like the cuddliest lovecraftian horror ever to angelic or mythical creature mixes. I’ll mix and match features like scales with skin or chromatophores for flavor.
That sort of shapeshifting is freeing. It gives a brief direction for my thoughts, lets me express myself to my fullest. I’m never so happy as when I can let that go, as when I can shift shape freely. I’ve discovered the reason behind it, too.
I’m never comfortable in one shape. Never. None of them fit me. None of them express who I am properly, none of them get more than a glimmer of me in them. No shape I take will truly show who I am. Some are close.
Some are dangerously distant.
I shift shape so often in mind and in spirit here, because I’m searching, almost desperately, for one which I can say fits who I am with some form of permanency. That’s why it feels so good to change. That’s why I have such a low tolerance for bigotry or slurs. I think I know, more than anything else, am SURE of this one thing. I don’t belong no matter what shape I’m in. The only thing that gives me greater joy than searching for a form I feel right in is making damn certain that no one else needs to suffer through that disjointed feeling, that ‘I don’t belong here’ feeling, that awful, wrenching, empty space in your heart. In my heart.
No one should need to suffer through it. If I had my way, no one would.
Thanks, as always, for listening. I hope sharing this helped a little for those of you who know me and even those of you who don’t. I can’t speak for all the shapeshifters out there, (and really, judging by how rare we are I’m not sure if I actually expect one to post back to say ‘Wait a second, that’s not right!’) but I sure as heck can speak for me. So I have, and there you have it!
On a more positive note, I’m going to be eating soon! Yay!